Yik Yak is a social media outlet that works like Twitter paired with GPS. This is used to create a small Twitter-like world where anyone can post anonymously within a certain radius. It was created for college students by college students and restricts sharing to a close proximity to the user, making posts more intimate.
Abuses of the app have created negative responses.
Part of the reason it has caused such a stir is because instead of creating an environment where students can mingle and chat with others in their area, more obscene and offensive “yaks” are posted. Bullies can attack people by name without being caught, employees can slander their bosses, and college students can conspire with other students to stage walk-outs during class or any other kind of prank.
There are already some universities who have banned Yik Yak from their campuses. Michael Crisp, an 18-year-old, posted a threat to Drake University from Yik Yak, saying he was going to bring a gun to school. A campus-wide alert was sent out and, with the help of Yik Yak administrators, Crisp was arrested shortly after.
Another threat was made to East Troy High School in Wisconsin by a male high school student. He posted to Yik Yak that he was going to shoot up a school, and he did not specify which school. However, the post was tracked to the area and narrowed down the search. The student was arrested on Oct. 17.
There are smart ways to use social media and there are incredibly dumb ways. Unfortunately, most of the time the public is forced to listen to all the stupid ways it is used by immature teenagers.
The good news is that while all of the “problems” that have been caused by angsty, violent teenagers are not new problems. The 21st century is not the first one to experience violence in children, mass shootings, school shootings or bomb threats. The major problem here is more kids having access to social media outlets as a tool to abuse where they believe they can post whatever they wish without being caught.
Even though Yik Yak is supposed to be anonymous, it really is not if the administrators can track down users, just as any social media network can. Be careful with things being posted because one day it may bring repercussions.